Thursday, October 8, 2009

Me and My Friend Roo

Winter of 1992: My freshman roommate in college, her name was Rachel, and I were lying in our bunks one night. It was January and yet, it felt like Spring in Iowa City. Winter had not arrived yet. It was late. We started talking about our twin sisters, as if we both had them. Our twins were living exciting and thrilling lives, very different from our mundane go to school, go to practice, go to dinner, do your homework, go to bed kinda lives. Rachel's twin was named "Roo". Roo lived in San Francisco and rode around town on her Harley. She owned her own restaurant (I don't remember which kind). My twin's name was Jade. She lived in Canada and was dating a pro hockey player while she played on the Women's Junior National Ice Hockey Team.

I don't really remember when my love of hockey cemented itself into my being. I dated a hockey goalie in high school. I won't mention that he was two years younger than me, but he was still cute and by then I had chewed up and spit out all the guys in my class. Anyway, he was the one who encouraged me to buy a pair of hockey skates. I couldn't really "use" them until I was done playing field hockey, since I pretty much ate, slept and drank field hockey for the four years I was at Iowa (although I do remember a few pond skates out there in Iowa City).

I almost went to Michigan (oh my god, I can't even imagine it now, my drawers would be all full of blue and yellow instead of black and gold- horror!) but that's only because I went to a hockey game on my recruiting trip. And then the field hockey girls who were in charge of me (the innocent little high school recruit) brought me to the hockey player's house that night for a keg party. I almost died and went to heaven. I still protect my Michigan puck I picked up that night. No one's allowed to touch it.

And if it wasn't for my friend Mike (who is now a Division 1 ref) who happily shipped out to me in Colorado some shin pads and shoulder pads and gloves when I told him I needed a few items to get me started, I'd still only have an imaginary twin sister who played hockey. I remember thinking when I was opening the box of brand new equipment- this is the beginning of something wonderful. I received a new helmet from my mother-in-law for Christmas that year. And thanks to Ron and Kevin in Breckenridge, CO who taught me how to skate- it all began.

Coincidentally, I played hockey in CO with this girl:

This is Michelle. We had the Vermont connection because I just finished my Masters at UVM and she just finished her undergrad. She played for the women's team! We go way back, she and I do. She gave me a pair of UVM socks in CO, oh...way back in 1998 that I just stopped wearing.

And now I don the ones I got from playing a season with the Philadelphia Freeze. This was all before kids- when time grew on trees.

And thankfully I played on a team called the Misfits with this one, because she asked me to play in both of her drop-in leagues, since she organizes TWO of them. She could manage the world if someone asked her to. She's a crazy one- just last Sunday it was her birthday. She's, like, all 41 or something like that. And so she just goes and runs a half marathon and then comes and plays an hour and a half of hockey. Yeah, whatever.

I love hockey. You want to know why? I'm weird. I love the smell of stinky equipment. I purposefully don't take a shower or wash my hands before I leave the rink so I can smell my stink all the way home. I don't know. I guess I'm kinda like a guy. I love feeling the sweat roll down my ass crack. I love hocking a loogy on the ice or blowing a snot shot. It feels great.

I love wearing all the gear so that when you fall you generally don't hurt yourself. Sometimes I pee a little when I fall real hard, but that's just because I don't do my Kegels regularly.

I love the camraderie on the bench and on the ice. Sometimes I think I would have never had friends in my life if I had never played team sports. Team sports just give you a group of people that you have to be friends with- in order to be a good team.

But sometimes you get some really weird people on your team. Like this cat here. He's weird. He shows a little too much skin for me, in places I'd rather not see skin (I did not include a photo of this...for everyone's sake).

I love watching some of the best. This is Tammy- she played at Princeton. Holy Moly is she good. And not only is she an amazing goalie, but she skates out with the best of us.

And I love the Zamboni. Isn't that queer? I mean my kids love the Zamboni...but they're KIDS? I got Timmy a t-shirt for Christmas last year. It says, "I wanna drive the Zamboni". I would have bought one for myself if they made them in my size. I don't know. I told you I'm weird.

I wanted to give you a few close ups of some of my weird friends but it got sorta steamy in the locker room. What with all our sweaty bodies and foul mouths. Someday maybe I'll let you in. That or you could just pretend that you have a twin and that they play hockey with us. And then they could tell you all about it. Or something like that.

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